Staff Misconduct Renders Jui Hospital as Death Trap
Systemic Corruption has rendered the Jui Chinese Hospital especially the component manned by the Government of Sierra Leone as a death trap. Such well orchestrated syndicate at the Jui Hospital has created artificial shortage of drugs, and also given lead way for nurses to be dealers of drugs at an astronomical price.
Relatives of Abu bakarr Keitta a native from Kabala, said their brother died in an excruciating pain due to the negligence of the hospital Staff particularly the Pharmacist (Pharm Dauda ) who shut down the pharmacy during his night swift. It was disclosed that Pharmacist Dauda abandoned his night duty which gave a staff nurse to have the patent right to sale drugs to patients at higher cost. So because the deceased Abu bakarr Keitta who was rushed with to the hospital at around 4:00AM, could not afford to buy the smuggled drugs from the nurse, and the Pharmacist negligently abandoned his job, caused Abu Bakarr Keitta to face his sudden death.
Another testament from Hindowa Koroma, a relative to Watta Koroma, disclosed that her sister was rushed with into the Jui Hospital with an emergency situation but the Pharmacist was not around to sell drugs.
Hindowa Koroma continued that it was the same Nurse who offered to sell drugs to the patient (Watta Koroma) at the sum of L 150 after the doctor has done medical examination on her sister. Hindowa said he demanded receipt from the nurse but the nurse told him that those drugs are her personal drugs adding that, there is no drugs available in the entire hospital. He continued that after twenty minutes, one Gibril Bangura who is a Lab Technician, also came and requested for Le 450 for test to be conducted. The money was paid but receipt was also to given.
Drawing the attention of the Medical Superintend Dr. Kabineh to the ill happenings in his hospital, Dr. Kabineh confessed that all that are happening in the hospital are not a novelty. He said he has been jotting down all the negligence of staff, mismanagement of the hospital facilities since he took over the hospital. He added that all of the fraud related activities have been a syndicate which need concerted effort to eradicate.
” This is not a new issue at all in the hospital. Hospital inspectors have come and done their findings but the issue still continues. Journalists have come with similar complaint. So, it is not easy to change an old system but we are trying hard to put stop to it”, he said
He also assured that he would serve query letters to the Matrons, the Medical Secretary, the Pharmacist the was on duty (Pharm Dauda) and the nurse that was selling those drugs.
Another senior Staff at the hospital Peter Augustine Charles, was charged with the responsibility to investigate the above matter. Peter Augustine Charles however, tried to justify the bad happenings at the hospital by holistically apportioning blame to the government. He said there is huge lacuna in the healthcare service especially for the Jui Chinese Hospital wherein, government does not supply drugs to the hospital. He added that government is incapacitated to supply regular drugs to the hospital. He furthered that at Connaught Hospital for instance, government brought in Public Private Partnership in order to handle the supply and sales of drugs. Unlike Connaught, Peter Augustine Charles said the Jui Chinese Hospital Pharmacy is virtually empty with drugs which caused the systemic syndicate of nurses selling drugs to patients at a skyrocketed price.
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In a telephone interview with the Minister of Health and Sanitation Dr. Austin Demby expressed that there are two major sources of Medical service from government which are the Free Healthcare Drugs intended for Pregnant and Lactating mothers and Vulnerable Children, the disabled and the Ebola Survivals. He added that government also has quarterly supplies of medications to all of the Hospitals in the Country. He intimated that what government is trying to do now is for people who are not captioned in the Free Healthcare, through the engagement of the Public Private Partnership, to have a private partnership stationed within the facility to sell drugs at an accessible and affordable rate.
Dr. Demby continued that the Public Private Partnership has already be instituted at the Connaught Hospital. He affirmatively warned that nurses are not allowed to sell drugs at any government hospitals across the country. He added that Connaught Hospital was a pilot stage for the Public Partnership which would be soon cascaded to the remaining Teaching Hospitals in the Western Area and also to the Provincial hospitals.
The Minister of Health and Sanitation furthered that his Ministry has also instituted hospital inspectorate Unit headed by One Foday Musa, whose responsibility is to pay regular visit to those hospitals in order to see what is working and what is not working. Minister Demby reassured that the intend of the ministry is to ensure that drugs are available either free or at managed cost for all and sundry. He also acknowledged that there is a parallel pharmacy exclusively manned by the Chinese but promised to rationalize the Jui Hospital Management in order to have Public Private Partnership Arrangement within the Jui hospital for effective management.
“We are not only being defensive here and it is good that you brought this to our attention. We are going to be very proactive about this and we have a solution that we are working on . Government provides Free Healthcare but government cannot provide Free Healthcare for everybody. However, the Public Private Partnership arrangement will ensure affordable, accessible and quality drugs across the hospitals”, said Dr. Demby.
The Deputy Chief Medical Officer in charge of Clinical Dr. Mustapha Kabba, assured that the concern by about the Jui hospital would now serve as an opportunity to speedily roll out a cost recovery pharmacy similar to the one at Connaught hospital. He also disclosed that the Jui Hospital is now going to be incorporated among hospitals that would be receiving the Free Healthcare Drugs. He acknowledged the seriousness of the issued brought before the Ministry and therefore, assured that they have dispatched hospital inspectorates to go at the Jui hospital for a comprehensive investigation. He strongly warned that nurses and other staff at any of the government hospitals do not have the locus standing to buy drugs on the street and sell to patients at higher price. He considered such as a malpractice of which, punitive measures would be taken against defaulters. He also assured that the terrible hygiene situation and management of the Jui Hospital are issues they are going to look into very strongly.
On the side of the Chinese, the Head of Political Affairs at the Chinese Embassy Mr. Hu, intimated that twelve doctors were dispatched by the Chinese Government to come and help at the Jui Hospital. He affirmed that the Jui hospital is operated with two different component. One component is handled by government, and the other component handled by the Chinese Government. He noted that the drugs in the Chinese Pharmacy are only meant for the Chinese Doctors due to the limited amount of the drugs. He also intimated that the segmented drugs for the use of the Chinese Pharmacy should not be viewed as a means of discrimination but rather, because of its limited supply. He added that medicines in the Chinese Pharmacy are not provided by the Sierra Leone government but rather the Chinese government for the exclusive use by the Chinese doctors.